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Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt

Posted: , by FAUguy

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Interface:

Since the Samsung Droid Charge and HTC ThunderBolt run on Android 2.2.1 Froyo, they have the same underlying operating system and can do pretty much the same tasks – though their interface does look different.

Samsung uses their TouchWiz 3.0 user interface on the Droid Charge, which allows for a few extra desktop widgets to be placed on the 7 home screens, as well as different layout for the application’s screen, which has to be moved side-to-side. But missing are any type of themes for the desktop. This is one area where the ThunderBolt does well in, as it uses the HTC Sense user interface. Not only does it come with a larger selection of widgets, but also has 6 scenes and 5 different skins, all of which allow for much greater personalization on the desktop.

The Samsung Droid Charge (left)and the HTC ThunderBolt (right) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt

The Samsung Droid Charge (left)
and the HTC ThunderBolt (right)


As we mentioned, both phones have 7 home screens, but moving between them feels faster and more fluid on the ThunderBolt. Sometimes the Droid Charge didn’t feel as smooth as you could see some delay when moving between the home screens.


Contacts and Messaging:

One area where both devices perform well in is with contact management and messaging. The HTC ThunderBolt will integrate all your contacts from your Google, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr accounts, while the Droid Charge also adds contacts from Skype, AIM, Windows Live, Yahoo! Messenger and MySpace. Even though there are some visual differences between the TouchWiz and Sense UI layout, they both allow you to view all your contacts together in one list, as well as edit them right from your phone.

Dialpads - The Samsung Droid Charge (left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt
Dialing contacts - The Samsung Droid Charge (left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt

Dialpads

Dialing contacts

The Samsung Droid Charge (left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right)


The messaging app also looks a bit different between the Samsung Droid Charge and HTC ThunderBolt, but it still performs the same tasks. You can have it setup to work with any email account, including POP3, IMAP, AOL, GMail, Microsoft Exchange, Verizon.net, Windows Live Hotmail and Yahoo! There is also a separate Mobile IM app for connecting you to your Windows Live, Yahoo and AIM buddy lists.

Messaging apps of the Samsung Droid Charge (left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt
Messaging apps of the Samsung Droid Charge (left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt

Messaging apps of the Samsung Droid Charge (left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right)


Since neither phone comes with a physical keyboard, you have to use the on-screen virtual QWERTY. Between the two, we found the one on the ThunderBolt to be a bit easier to use, as the on-screen keys were slightly larger, and the word prediction worked better. But the Droid Charge also has the Swype keyboard included, so some of you may prefer using that.

On-screen QWERTY kyeboards of the Samsung Droid Charge (bottom, left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (top, right) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt
On-screen QWERTY kyeboards of the Samsung Droid Charge (bottom, left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (top, right) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt

On-screen QWERTY kyeboards of the Samsung Droid Charge (bottom, left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (top, right)



Internet and Connectivity:

With the Samsung Droid Charge and HTC ThunderBolt, you are able to connect to Verizon’s 4G LTE data network – but not everything is wine and roses.

We’ve been using the ThunderBolt for almost 6 weeks now, and still have the problem we talked about here, where the phone will cycle through 4G, 3G, and 1x modes for no reason at all while we are in a 4G area. But if we put the phone in LTE only mode (as shown in that article), it significantly cuts down on the amount of times it changes to 3G and 1x, and will stay on 4G most of the time. But with the Droid Charge, it is always going between 4G and 3G, and most of the time will show 3G if we are in a house, car, or any type of structure. In fact, it happens so much that we have to use the Airplane mode dozens of times a day for it to re-establish a 4G connection. We’re not sure if this a problem with the Verizon network or with the phones, but the other 4G devices (USB modems, HotSpot, MiFi) will stay connected to 4G without dropping down to 3G in the same area.

As far as the phones' pure 4G data speeds are concerned, there is little to no difference, as we got 9.37 Mbps download on the Droid Charge and 9.27 Mbps download on the ThunderBolt, with both using the Speedtest.net app and connecting to the same server. Uploads were between 4-5 Mbps.

The Speedtest.net app - The Samsung Droid Charge (left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt
The Quadrant Benchmark app - The Samsung Droid Charge (left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt

The Speedtest.net app

The Quadrant Benchmark app

The Samsung Droid Charge (left) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right)


Both phones also come with a WebKit based browser and have similar features, but the web browsing experience on the Samsung Droid Charge is far from heaven. We noticed that several web sites (included our own) that use a lot of Flash content will completely lock-up the browser on the Droid Charge, making it unresponsive to scrolling and zooming. The only work around is to go into the browser settings for the Plug-ins and turn it off. This will allow sites to load without locking-up the browser, but you lose Flash support. Meanwhile, the HTC ThunderBolt can load web site, Flash and all, without any problems and without them locking-up. Because of this, we’d recommend going with the ThunderBolt if you visit a lot of Flash sites and want to maintain that support while viewing them.

Browsers of the Samsung Droid Charge (left, bottom) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right, top) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt
Browsers of the Samsung Droid Charge (left, bottom) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right, top) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt
Browsers of the Samsung Droid Charge (left, bottom) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right, top) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt
Browsers of the Samsung Droid Charge (left, bottom) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right, top) - Samsung Droid Charge vs HTC ThunderBolt

Browsers of the Samsung Droid Charge (left, bottom) and the HTC ThunderBolt (right, top)


There is also a Mobile HotSpot app on both phones, though the Droid Charge can support up to 10 devices connected through Wi-Fi, while the ThunderBolt can only support 8 – though we doubt most people would every use that many at one time.

One interesting feature on the ThunderBolt is that it has an Internet Connection Mode, where you can tether the phone to your PC via a USB cable, and have your PC use the phone’s internet connection.

24 Comments
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posted on 09 May 2011, 10:20 8

1. the joneses (unregistered)


So basically both of them are half baked :)
Love it....
Give us more half designed / half tested / rushed out/ not thought trough expensive crap so we can spend our money on them every few months...

posted on 09 May 2011, 10:23 4

2. Rich (unregistered)


i have had no problems on my thunderbolt. never experienced the 4G, 3G, 1x cycle as the article mentioned.

The only thing is the battery WAS terrible. Until i rooted my phone and used setcpu. Now my thunderbolt lasts all day + more. So thats no longer an issue.

posted on 13 May 2011, 08:19 1

12. davyjones (unregistered)


I had 3 (THREE) of them.
This 3rd one seems ok, only minor probs. like
-speaker is distorted,
-the call quality has tin-can-syndrome,
-all incoming calls start on the LOUDEST volume (no tty, all settings are checked by me and htc tech and it still does it.) Every call is on MAX VOLUME. The only way to get rid of it is when s.one calls I got to move up the volume slider to max, then down. Pretty annoying from a new phone.

posted on 09 May 2011, 10:37 2

3. LionStone (Posts: 434; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


Yea, mine did the cycling thing and the second day I had it, I returned it for a new model that works properly. Maybe other people should do that too and give accurate reviews instead...oh and call quality is great on mine too. I use it in the mountains all the time and the quality and reception is fine.

posted on 09 May 2011, 11:02 3

4. MalakiMills (Posts: 255; Member since: 15 Jun 2010)


The only thing about this review that pulls me toward the Charge is the Super AMOLED Plus, that is a beauty of a screen. But everything else that it has better aren't really that impressive. I would prefer the camera, sense, build quality, and "better" performance are the deciding factors. And the less than average track record for updates from samsung don't bode well with me either.

posted on 09 May 2011, 13:34 1

5. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


IMHO, both of these devices are too late to the market. 4G is the only thing separating them from the competition...and that has enough reviews (not just on this site) to feel disappointing. Looks like the cameras are junk, too. I'll wait for the dual-core monsters to rear their heads to see what my next upgrade will be. Going to take quite a bit to pry my jailbroken iPhone 4 away.

posted on 09 May 2011, 13:47 1

6. ajsdfasdkj (unregistered)


PhoneArena never checks facts anymore do they.... the thunderbolt is not a standard lcd it is a Super LCD, also it has 768mb of ram not 512. phonearena has become morons.

posted on 11 May 2011, 07:09

9. James123ab (unregistered)


Actually Thunderbolt is not Super LCD...looks like someone should recheck their checking.

http://www.technobuffalo.com/mobile-devices/phones /htc-thunderbolt-review-fastest-droid-yet/

posted on 09 May 2011, 13:51

7. Hey You! (unregistered)


If the Thunderbolt had a Super AMOLED plus display who would win then?

posted on 09 May 2011, 16:25

8. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)


Think I'd take the Droid Charge, although I must say I like the look of the Tbolt. But, I want an Omnia 7 on Verizon anyway.

posted on 12 May 2011, 07:03

10. immolate (unregistered)


Here's a thought and probably a point for comparison.

Samsung Droid Charge: $300
HTC Thunderbolt: (as low as) $129

posted on 13 May 2011, 08:12

11. davyjones (unregistered)


The dual core, ATRIX 4G with better display, better battery, fingerprint reader..etc....is $99.99. It was 119 when the Tbolt was 249....
I don't mind to pay more if the phone is new AND BETTER what p.me off is that they hang these 250-300 tags on them just because it's "new" NOT BETTER. Yet other phones already on the market are ahead of these....

posted on 18 May 2011, 06:40 2

13. (unregistered) (unregistered)


and the winner is....Iphone! Again, poor quality and outdated technology from the "new" android phones...they're just not built as well as the iphone whether you're an Apple fan (which I'm not!) or an android fan..This is why Apple is still King.

posted on 18 May 2011, 16:59 1

14. mr. droid (Posts: 278; Member since: 21 Aug 2010)


i have both sitting here side by side and the picture us far more brilliant on the thunderbolt. BOTH phones have more flaws than any other phone i have ever had. PROBABLY because they are the first 4G phones and if i have ever learned anything else before, never buy something that is the first of its kind. wait and let things get perfected.

posted on 21 May 2011, 16:58 1

15. heckman45 (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 May 2010)


Since both have been out, we haven't sold a whole lot of them. I mean really, Verizon, get it together. You put out your first dual-core processor in a 3G DEVICE? Yet, your 4G phones are both single core. Doesn't make sense. Not to mention, the Thunderbolt will last you a good 8 hours if you aren't doing ANYTHING on it. Maybe 4 hours with data usage. Fail.

posted on 26 May 2011, 07:15 1

16. Think (unregistered)


You guys are bitching about No Dual Core and low battery life. Do you realize how much worse battery life is going to be when your feeding twice the cpu draw?

Agree, the facts they post here about both phones, is not accurate. very odd.

posted on 27 May 2011, 22:35

18. Eric (unregistered)


My Atrix is 4g, Dual Core and the massive battery lasts two days. CDMA is your enemy.

posted on 26 May 2011, 19:47

17. codymws (Posts: 236; Member since: 17 Jun 2010)


Where'd you get that flash drive with the Verizon logo on it? I want one of those! =)

posted on 28 Jun 2011, 20:51

22. pia (unregistered)


I got one at a verizon wireless seminar. It's only 1gb though.

posted on 20 Jun 2011, 23:18

21. listener68 (unregistered)


Droid charge Great phone, but lastest 2 days and 4G, went to 3G. then DOA.. Intermittent and flaky at best, and call s were broken and stuttery even in suburban metro area.

posted on 14 Jul 2011, 06:36

23. charger (unregistered)


To all the iphone users saying that the iphones number one...its pretty much the same software and stuff in a new skin with a different number. Dumbass to go out every six month and buying the new iphone. And steve jobs a f**king joke. When you're buying an apple product you're paying for the logo.

posted on 05 Sep 2011, 00:11

24. flynmedic77 (unregistered)


I have a droid charge, it is the biggest piece of crap ever! I am on my 3rd one this week. I push the messaging button and the internet opens, the internet opens the phone freezes. The replacement phone they sent keeps restarting itself every couple of mins. I have not downloaded or made any calls from it before it started doing this. I complained enough they are sending a thunderbolt instead, I hope it does better!

posted on 07 Sep 2011, 23:22

25. joe (unregistered)


I am not a tech guy, but I have purchased at least one of the latest phones over the past five years to use when doing business. The Droid Charge definitely feels like the best thing that I have ever used. I like that it is light and the screen actually looks bigger than the HTC. I have never felt more organized and the speed is amazing to me. Consumers always want more, but I am very satisfied with the Droid Charge and it is definitely an example of giving the consumer more!

posted on 11 Sep 2011, 11:36

26. Anthony Douglas (unregistered)


I have had 6 Thunderbolts and just got my Charge this week. The camera and video quality are waaaay better on the Thunderbolt. I went to a wedding last night & every single one of the photos taken on the Charge were crap! Even after I tweaked the settings. The Thunderbolt (even after the update) would power cycle on is own, drop from 4g to 1x ALL the time no matter what city I was in or while sitting on my front porch...I have not had that issue on the Charge.
I did root my last Thunderbolt and the battery life was wonderful after removing all the bloatware crap from it but it still doesn't compete with the Charge.
I wish I would just combine these phones or have Verizon put out something that was worth a damn. My contract doesn't expire until 2013 but I am breaking it to switch back to Sprint where the plans are cheaper, the service is the same as Verizon's in my area & the cities I visit & everything is TRULY unlimited.

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